We’re loving Japan: Must-sees for your to-do list

Bed down in a bookcase, soak in Hell or visit the instant noodle museum. Eli Orzessek has some quirky suggestions for your to-do list.


Where to eat:

The rail geeks will be in heaven at Tokyo’s Curry Station Niagara (in Meguro district) — it’s run by one of their own. Surrounded by train-related goods, you can enjoy a bowl of warming curry rice, delivered by model train, naturally.

Where to drink: Hair of the Dogs (in Shinjuku) is a tiny six-seater bar in Golden Gai with a punk-rock theme — look for the Sex Pistols poster on the door. There’s a catalogue of classic punk albums you can request and you’re sure to meet someone with similar tastes.

Where to stay: Book-lovers can enjoy a unique capsule hotel experience at Book and Bed, which has locations in Ikebukuro and Shinjuko — you’ll actually sleep inside a well-stocked bookshelf.

What to see: Go to a baseball game — it’s an experience you won’t forget. You can catch the Yomiuri Giants at the Tokyo Dome or the Yakult Swallows at Jingu Stadium, and you can even bring your own bento and beer.


Where to eat:

Try a variety of different ramen noodles at the

Shin-Yokohama Raumen Museum

, the world’s first fast food-themed amusement park. It houses branches of nine famous ramen restaurants including Kyushu and Hokkaido.

Where to drink: If you’re a beer-lover with a penchant for headbanging, head to Thrash Zone (in Kanagawa Prefecture). This bar specialises in hoppy, bitter and strong brews, with metal decor and music to match.

Where to stay: The stylishly stacked modular “cottages” of the Bayside Marina Hotel (in Kanazawa) were designed by Yasutaka Yoshimura Architects. Each is placed at an unusual angle so every guest has a different view of the bay.

What to do: Stay on the ramen theme and be sure to check out the Cup Noodle Museum, which tells the sadly little-known history of the instant noodle. You’ll leave with a renewed respect for convenience food.

What to see:

Shinsekai — meaning New World — is known as Osaka’s most weird and wacky district. Here you’ll find a retro vibe, with cheap bars, narrow arcades, neon signs and the iconic Tsutenkaku Tower.



Air New Zealand

flies direct from Auckland to Tokyo daily, with one-way Economy Class fares starting from $619.



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